At Northfields Infants and Nursery School, safeguarding is our number one priority and everyone’s responsibility. The information below explains some of our key provision and systems. It is not intended to replace or substitute the reading of our Child Protection Policy. For us, safeguarding goes beyond what is statutory and is our highest priority. As a team we constantly reflect on our practise and look for any ways we can to improve.
Who leads in Safeguarding in school?
We have three school DSLs (Designated Safeguarding Leads) and a safeguarding governor. These are currently:
Rob Dell – Designated Safeguarding Lead
Charlotte Cobb – Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Sophie Batcock – Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Sarah Robertson – Safeguarding Governor
What training is given to staff?
Our staff receive training in safeguarding and child protection on induction to the school. Each member of staff then has annual training, and the DSL and deputy DSLs have enhanced training appropriate to their role. All applicants for positions within the school are interviewed by a member of staff with specific training in ‘safe recruitment’, and are required to demonstrate their understanding of safeguarding matters.
Throughout the year the school uses a number of local and national resources to ensure that we are up to date with best practice, and staff are updated on new initiatives and changes.
We conduct regular audits of our Safeguarding and Child Protection procedures, and run staff quizzes from time to time to identify any areas that might benefit from review.
How are referrals made?
Child Protection and Safeguarding referrals are made by staff and sometimes pupils, parents or visitors to the DSLs. Staff are trained in the referral process and this is part of staff induction. Visitors are asked to read our safeguarding booklet and have a discussion with a DSL so they understand the procedures. Staff are trained to avoid asking leading questions and to support pupils by explaining what will happen, not showing disbelief and taking factual information from the child. The school DSLs may investigate further once a referral is made. We use CPOMs to record incidents.
Will parents be informed?
If a child makes a disclosure our practice is to inform parents and carers as long as this would not put a child in danger or we are advised not to speak to parents by social care. Likewise, we will usually inform parents if a referral to social care has been made.
What if a child or an adult makes a disclosure about a member of staff?
If there is an allegation made against a member of staff then the DSLs will seek advice from the Local Area Designated Officer (LADO) on the appropriate action to take. We will inform parents and in some cases a staff member may be suspended or put on altered or supervised duties until an investigation is completed. Where criminal activity may have taken place, the police will be contacted. All staff are made aware of the school’s whistleblowing policy contained within the safeguarding policy.
How does school make sure that staff and visitors are safe to work with children?
We carry out criminal background checks on all staff and visitors who work in school. Staff are also asked to disclose any activity that may make them by association ineligible to work with children. Staff are trained to understand that they are all responsible for safeguarding and must immediately report any practice they are concerned about. We ask staff to also take precautions such as avoiding being left in a room on their own with a pupil and not using personal mobile phones in school to video or take pictures of pupils. These are outlined in our Staff Code of Conduct, E-Safety and Safeguarding policies.
We issue a leaflet to visitors with a summary of our expectations for their behaviour whilst in our school in advance of them seeing our children.
What should I do if I have a safeguarding concern?
We ask all parents and carers to help with safeguarding too. If you have a concern about a child, member of staff or the safety in the environment then please contact us immediately and ask to speak to one of our school DSLs.
Most children have access to devices with online games and apps. It can be difficult to keep on top of everything and everyone they have access too. We have lots of tips and advice for getting to know what your child has access to, how to talk to them about online safety and, if necessary, how to take some control over their online activities to keep them safe.
At school, we have web filtering facilities to ensure access to inappropriate sites and images are blocked. For further information, please refer to our safeguarding policy.